One important consideration in candle making is which type of wick you should use. Two of the most common types are cotton wicks and wooden wicks, which both have their advantages and disadvantages.
1. Cotton wicks
Cotton wicks are the most common type in candle making. One reason for this is that they are very versatile. They can be used for all shapes and sizes of candles and it is very easy to adjust the size of the wick when experimenting. Wooden wicks can vary in size and density which can make it very difficult to test a new recipe.
They are also easier to light, especially if you are relighting a candle that has already been burnt. You may find that it is not possible to relight a wooden wick with a match, because it takes too long for the wick to take the flame again. A cotton wick will easily relight no matter how many times the candle has burnt. Cotton wicks are also better if the candle is to be burnt outside, as wooden wicks are more prone to going out in drafts.
2. Wooden wicks
Wooden wicks have their advantages though. For one thing, they will last for longer. Cotton wicks provide a tall hot flame that burns up the wax very quickly. A wooden wick will provide a lower flame that takes much longer to consume the candle.
Because of this, wooden wicks work much better in scented candles and will throw the aroma into the room much more quickly. Cotton wicks can burn up the fragrances before they have had a chance to fill the room, whereas a wooden wick will burn lower and warm up the wax rather than immediately burn it off. This allows more of the scent to pervade the room.
Finally, wooden wicks are likely to be more sustainable than cotton. Although there are options to buy eco-friendly cotton wicks, they are more likely to include various additives that may be harmful. It is much easier to find wooden wicks that have come from a sustainable source.
The decision whether to use a cotton or wooden wick will depend on the type of candle you are making, the kind of ambience you want from it and your personal preferences. Local candle making supply companies will be happy to give you more advice on wicks or any other aspect of candle making.